Tens of thousands of thousands of Minnesotans undoubtedly contracted COVID-19 due to coming into contact with the virus at their job, but only a fraction of those employees rightfully earned the compensation they both need and deserve. And after taking a closer look at the recent workers’ compensation statistics, it’s clearer than ever that if you aren’t covered under the state’s presumptive COVID-19 benefits, you need to have a lawyer by your side if you want any chance of getting the benefits you’re entitled to receive.
COVID And Workers’ Compensation Claim Acceptance
As we’ve covered on the blog in the past, Minnesota lawmakers previously passed a law that allowed certain frontline workers to collect workers’ compensation if they missed work because they contracted COVID-19 under the presumption that their work duties likely put them in direct contact with the virus. In other words, certain groups had their COVID-19 claims presumptively approved simply because of their line of work. That law was great if you were a protected worker, like a police officer, firefighter, health care worker or correctional officer, but not so much if you were an unprotected worker.
According to new statistics, 96 percent of workers who qualified for presumptive COVID-19 benefits had their workers’ compensation claim approved by the state. Conversely, workers who needed to prove that they were exposed to COVID-19 at work without the benefit of presumptive acceptance saw their claims denied 72 percent of the time. Those numbers are staggering, especially when you consider how clear it is that workplace exposure likely led to COVID outbreaks in many industries. Despite the fact that COVID-19 infections among workers closed many large meat processing plants, not a single meat packer in Minnesota had their COVID-19 claim accepted until additional inquiries were made by processors on behalf of employees.
Even when claims are being paid out, they rarely account for the true cost of COVID. Estimates of the cost of claims filed from those workers covered by presumptive benefits ranged from between $320-596 million, but only $15.6 million has been paid out, with very little going to uncovered health care costs.
Fighting For Your COVID Benefits
So if you missed time at work because you contracted the coronavirus and you believe that you came into contact with the virus at work, it is in your best interest to connect with a work comp lawyer like the ones you’ll find at Hey Workers before you move forward with a claim. Even if you’re in the presumptive benefit group or you’re wondering if you qualify for presumptive benefits, you’ll want to ensure everything is filled out correctly and timely, and a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you do just that.
And if you know you aren’t going to receive presumptive COVID-19 benefits, you absolutely need an ally in your corner if you want to stand a chance to earn the benefits you so rightly deserve. Although the statistics didn’t specify, we can all but guarantee that the majority of the 28 percent of non-presumptive workers who earned COVID-19 injury benefits had a lawyer by their side to ensure their claim was as strong as possible.
We’ve won these types of cases for countless individuals in the past, and we’d love to get you the benefits you deserve. For more information about collecting compensation for COVID-19 that was contracted at the workplace, reach out to the team at Hey Workers today.